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Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo make games safe

December 15, 2020

Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo, which controls the entire gaming and console market, have announced a common set of safety guidelines on how to oversee and monitor across their platforms.

The companies are setting aside their regular competitions to improve online games and have outlined a set of common principles to make them safe, especially for younger players.

The statement, released simultaneously by the three companies, said protecting players online requires a multidisciplinary approach that combines the benefits of advanced technology, a supportive community and human oversight.

The principles were released with the increasing number of games, such as: Fortnite, Rocket League and Apex Legends, that are playable across different platforms, allowing players to play together regardless of the devices they use.

This feature could cause problems if the platforms apply different rules, and the new principles should help console manufacturers take this approach to keep players safe.

Sony has cited potential differences like these in the past as a reason why PS4 players should not be allowed to play against other platforms.

The reason the company did not support crossplay in Rocket League or Fortnite is that the company did not want to expose its players to online environments beyond its control, said (Jim Ryan) Jim Ryan, Head of Global Sales and Marketing at PlayStation in 2017.

Ryan added: We have an agreement that requires us to take care of people who play online while they are in the PlayStation world, and we must think very carefully about the possibility of children being exposed in many cases to external influences that we do not have the ability to manage.

Sony later reversed its position and has allowed the feature to be supported across its platform since then.

The new principles come under three main categories: It is prevention, partnership and responsibility.

The safeguards allow players to customize their privacy controls, in order to make these options more accessible and easy to use.

The partnership includes pledges to collaborate with other organizations and rating agencies on safety initiatives.

Responsibility includes being transparent about the rules, and making it easier to inform players when people break the rules.

“This partnership demonstrates our commitment to work together to improve player safety and ensure gameplay remains a right for all,” the statement read.

The initiative can reduce inconsistencies regardless of the platform used, but the announcement does not include any details about the specific changes the companies are making.